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Corps invites public to attend info session about dam removal, new navigation lock opening

Pittsburgh District
Published May 1, 2024
Updated: May 1, 2024
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District has operated Elizabeth Locks and Dam since 1907.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District has operated the Monongahela River Locks and Dam 3 in Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, since 1907. It is the second oldest navigation project in the Pittsburgh District and is planned for removal as early as 2024. Removing the dam will help equalize the pool on the Monongahela River between the Charleroi and Braddock locks and dams, forming a 30-mile stretch of navigable waterway. The expanded pool will benefit the navigation industry by cutting transportation time in half to pass through the region. The dam’s removal is part of the Lower Monongahela River Project, which constructed upgrades at Braddock and Charleroi in preparation for Elizabeth’s removal. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District photo by Michel Sauret)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently conducting fully integrated system tests on the new navigation chamber, which measures 84 feet wide by 720 feet long.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently conducting fully integrated system tests on the new navigation chamber, which measures 84 feet wide by 720 feet long. The Pittsburgh District continues to adjust the system’s programming to prepare the lock to open for navigation later this year. The facility will be renamed the “John P. Murtha Locks and Dams” thanks to the Water Resources Development Act of 2022. The facility is part of the Lower Monongahela River Project which includes locks and dams at Charleroi, Elizabeth and Braddock, Pennsylvania. The three locks experience the highest volume of commercial traffic on the entire Monongahela River navigation system. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District photo by Michel Sauret)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District has operated Elizabeth Locks and Dam since 1907.

A towboat navigates downriver after departing the Monongahela River Locks and Dam 3 in Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, Nov. 29, 2023. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District has operated Elizabeth Locks and Dam since 1907. It is the second oldest navigation project in the Pittsburgh District and is planned for removal as early as 2024. Removing the dam will help equalize the pool on the Monongahela River between the Charleroi and Braddock locks and dams, forming a 30-mile stretch of navigable waterway. The expanded pool will benefit the navigation industry by cutting transportation time in half to pass through the region. The dam’s removal is part of the Lower Monongahela River Project, which constructed upgrades at Braddock and Charleroi in preparation for Elizabeth’s removal. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District photo by Michel Sauret)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District has operated Elizabeth Locks and Dam since 1907.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District has operated the Monongahela River Locks and Dam 3 in Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, since 1907. It is the second oldest navigation project in the Pittsburgh District and is planned for removal as early as 2024. Removing the dam will help equalize the pool on the Monongahela River between the Charleroi and Braddock locks and dams, forming a 30-mile stretch of navigable waterway. The expanded pool will benefit the navigation industry by cutting transportation time in half to pass through the region. The dam’s removal is part of the Lower Monongahela River Project, which constructed upgrades at Braddock and Charleroi in preparation for Elizabeth’s removal. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District photo by Michel Sauret)

Dam chamber on Monongahela river filling with water.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District begins to refill the newly constructed lock chamber with water at the Monongahela River Locks and Dam 4 in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, May 25, 2023. The chamber will take several days to fill with approximately 18.5 million gallons of water. Once filled, the Pittsburgh District will move forward with installing the miter gates and testing out the lock for navigation. The new lock is expected to go into operation in 2024. The construction project at Charleroi is part of the Lower Mon Project, sometimes referred to as a "mega project" because of its size and scope. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District photo by Michel Sauret)

ELIZABETH, Pa. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District is hosting a public information session to provide an update on the Lower Monongahela River Project as it nears the final phase.

As part of the project’s next phase, the Pittsburgh District plans to demolish the dam near Elizabeth and open a newly constructed navigation lock near Charleroi this year.

WHO: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District (USACE)

WHAT: This public information session is a forum for the community to learn about the project’s progress and future and to address community concerns. It will consist of a 60-minute presentation followed by a question-and-answer segment.

WHERE: Elizabeth Forward High School, 1000 Weigles Hill Road, Elizabeth, PA 15037.

WHEN: 7 – 9 p.m., Thursday, May 16.

WHY: Public meetings are important opportunities for communities to learn about, provide feedback, voice concerns, and share information about district activities and objectives. Locks and Dams 2, 3, and 4 on the Monongahela River in Allegheny, Washington and Westmoreland counties are the three oldest currently operating navigation facilities on the Monongahela River. These locks experience the highest volume of commercial traffic on the entire Monongahela River navigation system, and the pools created by these facilities provide industrial and municipal water and are popular with recreational boaters.

Stations will be available after the presentation for community members to engage district experts one-on-one about topics such as the project’s history, status, river levels, potential effects to nearby residents’ personal property, and upcoming project activity.

“Many of the navigation improvements made on our rivers go unnoticed by the residents and communities bordering the river,” said Steve Fritz, the district’s megaproject program manager. “However, there will be noticeable changes to river levels in the summer of 2024.”

In 1994, USACE began modernizing locks 2, 3, and 4 on the lower Monongahela River in the Braddock, Elizabeth, and Charleroi communities. USACE will begin removing Monongahela River Locks and Dam 3 in mid-2024. Removing Locks and Dam 3 is the project’s final phase after completing construction work at Locks and Dam 4 in Charleroi. The initial phase was completed in 2004 and included major construction work at Locks and Dam 2 in Braddock.

“This signifies the culmination of 30 years of engineering and construction efforts to modernize the navigation facilities on the lower Monongahela River,” said Fritz. “In addition to providing reliable river navigation for the next century, this project will return more than $200 million in annual benefits to the region and nation.”

More information about the project and related documents are available at https://www.lrd.usace.army.mil/Submit-ArticleCS/Projects/Article/3640563/lower-monongahela-river-project.

General Information:

Pittsburgh District’s 26,000 square miles include parts of western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, eastern Ohio, western Maryland, and southwestern New York. Our jurisdiction includes more than 328 miles of navigable waterways, 23 navigation locks and dams, 16 multi-purpose reservoirs, 42 local flood-protection projects, and other projects to protect and enhance the Nation’s water resources, infrastructure and environment.

To find Pittsburgh District’s published photos & videos, visit:
DVIDS: https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/USACE-PIT

Website: https://www.lrd.usace.army.mil/About/Districts/Pittsburgh-District

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/usacepittsburgh

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PittsburghUSACE

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/PittsburghUSACE

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pittsburghusace


Contact
Public Affairs Office
412-395-7500
CELRP-PA@usace.army.mil

Release no. 24-064

Chick Lock

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